{23} HelenOS and ESA Summer of Code in Space 2015 (4 matches)

ESA Summer of Code in Space 2015 (SOCIS 2015) is a program run by the European Space Agency. It aims at offering student developers stipends to write code for various space-related open source software projects. Through SOCIS, accepted student applicants are paired with a mentor or mentors from the participating projects, thus gaining exposure to real-world software development scenarios. In turn, the participating projects are able to more easily identify and bring in new developers.

[ ... from ESA Summer of Code in Space 2015 site. ]


HelenOS is a portable microkernel-based multiserver operating system designed from scratch. It decomposes key operating system functionality into isolated but intensively communicating server tasks that reside entirely in user space. HelenOS thus provides a computing environment that has several virtues, such as flexibility, increased robustness, well defined explicit interfaces and reduced complexity of individual components as compared to other operating systems.

HelenOS does not aim to be another clone of Unix or some other legacy operating system and it is by design not POSIX-compliant (even though it may seem POSIX-similar at times). Instead, we try to design it according to our sense for what is the most elegant and right thing to do. What makes HelenOS unique among the other multiserver operating systems is its multiplatform and multiprocessor microkernel. HelenOS runs on eight different processor architectures, ranging from a 32-bit uniprocessor little-endian ARMv4 and commodity PC (x86 and x86-64) to a 64-bit multicore big-endian UltraSPARC T1.

A Bit of History

HelenOS has traditionally been a project with significant student participation. Its first lines were written by a student in 2001. In 2004, the project turned into a collective academic effort and ever since then, new students have been joining every year to work on HelenOS-related theses and assignments. HelenOS participated in ESA SOCIS 2013.

Who Are We Looking For?

We are looking for students with real interest in operating systems, system-level programming, software design and HelenOS. We are looking for people who will play nicely with our community and by our guidelines. We are looking for those who are willing to give their project the necessary time and care. If a student only wants to pass ESA Summer of Code in Space with the minimum effort, HelenOS is not a good match for him or her. We are looking for already experienced C coders because all our projects start at the medium difficulty level and the code itself is not trivial. The successful candidate should be a good communicator, too.

We would like to invite prospective students to demonstrate their abilities and determination to work on a HelenOS project during the ESA Summer of Code in Space 2015 by completing a simple HelenOS task before the extended student application deadline on May 7. The student should check out the latest mainline sources of HelenOS, build the system, then either pick an existing bug or enhancement or think of their own improvement, implement it, test it and submit the patch / public bzr branch / merge directive to our mailing list. Students interested in applying for a ESA Summer of Code in Space project also need to fill out the application form and attach it to their application.

If a student is accepted, he or she will be invited to participate in the community development mailing list and IRC channel from day one. We will also ask him or her to periodically document his or her progress via mailing list write-ups and/or blog entries. The mentor will act as a buddy in our team who will monitor the development and provide the student with guidance when necessary. However, as a first-class member of our development community the student will also receive feedback from other developers besides the designated mentor.

Ideas List

The project ideas for the ESA Summer of Code in Space 2015 can be characterized as things that will improve the usability of HelenOS while building on the functionality already present in the source tree. No project in the list poses an open-questions topic in the academic sense. Instead, each project is rather implementation-oriented and achievable in one trimester. Each idea is also accompanied by a motivation and a short explanation of why we think somebody should work on it. We expect the students to deliver code that could be seamlessly integrated with the mainline development branch of HelenOS.

The Ideas List is just a small subset of all open tickets for HelenOS. If you do not see an appealing topic on this list, you might want to consider looking at the broader list or suggest a completely new topic or a variation on an existing topic. Remember that the ideas are not set in stone and, after all, it is the student who is going to suggest the idea to us. In any case, talk to us so that we can discuss whether the new topic would work for HelenOS during the ESA Summer of Code in Space. If not, the idea may still seem interesting to us even outside of the ESA Summer of Code in Space program.

Ticket Summary
#358 IRQ pseudocode compiler
#424 RPC/IPC generator
#517 Port the clang (LLVM) compiler to HelenOS
#541 Hard real-time features
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